LAHORE  -  Despite the NTDC’s claim that electricity shortfall is considerably decreased, the urban and rural areas are under the grip of loadshedding, creating severe water shortage especially at agriculture feeders where canal water is hardly available and the farmers are totally dependent on tube-wells, it is learnt.

The farmers say that loadshedding would hamper to achieve the paddy and cotton crops set target and bring loss of billions of rupees to national economy. They say that the PML-N government is giving priority to industry and has no interest to secure the agriculture of the country.

According to the National Transmission and Dispatch Company’s statement, the energy basket was facing around 3,000MW shortfall, which meant for average six to seven hours countrywide load shedding. However, the situation is quite different and urban and rural areas under every power distribution company (Disco) are under the grip of 12 hours shutdown. The cotton belt in Multan, Vehari, Khanewal, Lodharan (under Mepco – Multan Electric Power Company) and in interior Sind is facing water shortage due to unscheduled load shedding at agriculture feeders. Some farmers in the area are growing paddy crops due to threat of virus in cotton crops are under the worst situation. Similarly, the areas of Hafizabad, Mandi Bahauddin (under Gepco – Gujranwala Electric Power Company) are facing 12 hours shutdown without any schedule. Sources said that Mepco and Gepco is getting average 4000MW from national grid against their combined demand of 8000MW. The situation is Sind and areas under Pesco are even worst and people are forced to face 12 to 14 hours shutdown. The Lesco is conducting six to eight hours shutdown in the City and 10 hours in rural areas.

According to the NTDC, the electricity generation is standing at 14800MW and demand is hovering around 17800MW, creating shortfall of 1300MW at national grid. The hydel generation on Sunday was 6235MW, IPPs shared 6665MW in energy basket while the Wapda owned Gencos generated 1900MW to meet the countrywide demand of electricity consumers.